The Coach's Corner

Looking for confidence?

The Coach’s Corner Newsletter #46

Playgrounds are ripe for many of the lessons I get to work on in my coaching profession.

While I was covered in sand trying to avoid flinging sand from a digging spree with our little ones, a child hanging from a nearby climbing structure (six inches off the ground) screamed out,

Mom get me down, please, I’m stuck!

Her mother got up and headed near her daughter,

Honey, you know what to do. Grab the bar next to you and you’ll drop onto the sand.

As the child dropped safely to the sand on her own, she shrieked,

I did it! I did it!

Next thing you know, that little girl was climbing even higher, grabbing the bar and dropping into the sand. So confident. She remembered and did it again and again.

This encounter reminds me of the learnings I experience personally, when I forget that I know what to do. Every year as I file our taxes, I fear I will miss a detail or slip up on a number. And then I remember I’ve done this for more than 20 years. Turbo Tax also makes sure to notify me if I’ve committed an egregious error – which I can then correct. The completed return provides me a sense of accomplishment, which leads to confidence that I can do this.

It’s easy to forget what you know. But when you recall that you have the tools/the experience/the strategy already in your wheelhouse, it’s a matter of repeating what works. What’s holding you back from remembering what you know? And how do you use that knowledge to inspire your confidence?


Looking for confidence?

My boss is asking me to speak up more, to add my voice and make decisions. But I don’t think I’m in a position to establish myself because there may be pushback, bias or criticism from my colleagues. So I’m saying very little and I know it’s preventing me from my next steps.

Jeffrey, a seasoned IT professional, has developed a platform that he’s being asked to share widely through his org. He knows his ideas are solid and his leader is very supportive. But he feels he doesn’t have what it takes to present his strategy. I asked him how he engineered this prototype so cleanly?

Well, that’s what I do. I drive initiatives, create and build, otherwise I’m bored. I have this deep technological knowledge and can envision it in my head. But revealing it is terrifying.

Except, I notice, he’s already shown what he can do, and his work is being utilized. I wondered,

What happens when you visualize that technological knowledge outside your head?

A smile spread across Jeffrey’s face.

That’s it, isn’t it? I do know this works. And that’s what I’m being asked to share. I’m totally confident in the engineering. Maybe I could translate that confidence in a whiteboard or slide presentation…

So…what if it is that simple?

Yes, Jeffrey may experience pushback or bias or even criticism. But that doesn’t negate the work he knows is solid. His confidence comes from leaning into what he has created, what he knows how to do and then doing that work.



Remember what you know and do it

In addition to coaching, I love sharing what I’ve learned with folks who want to improve their confidence in speaking to their teams, presenting to groups and communicating their ideas.

For more than 30 years – I was an anchor and reporter on radio and television stations in San Francisco, Denver and Houston. Whether there was a breaking story, an unfolding war, natural disaster, political upheaval – I was ready to cover it on the ground or in the studio. Because of that experience, I’ve become an SME when it comes to asking questions, using time management well, delivering a message. My confidence grew out of the expertise I honed and now have the privilege to share.

When you reflect on what you know, you are tapping into the power you have as the subject matter expert or SME. And that drives confidence.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Lean on your expertise and connectionsWhat is it you’re known for? What do people ask you about frequently? What is it that you know better than most others? That’s your expertise.
  2. Share your working knowledge of the subjectAs you lean into your expertise – share that expertise. What is your working knowledge? How can you break that down? What makes sense to share? Your team/leaders/audience wants to know from YOU, the SME.
  3. Demonstrate how you add valueThe beauty of owning your own subject matter expertise is that you get to share what you bring to the table – and why that matters. Your interest, your passion, your ability – no one speaks to this issue like you do.


My takeaway

Each of us has something unique to offer. Maybe it’s the way you crunch numbers, synthesize data or manage teams around the world. As you lean into what makes you tick in your area of expertise, you discover you have more to offer in your life and your work.

Have you forgotten what energizes you?

Go back…for just a moment. Maybe it’s the classroom. Or the cliffs of a specific island. The open space where you run each morning with your dog. A piece of art you spent hours or days or months creating.

Finding that key part of you that brings you energy and joy is hard to experience when you feel weighed down. If that’s where you are right now, keep searching. It’s in you, around you, bouncing off of you.

Remember what brought you joy, what you know now and share it. Your search for confidence comes full circle.

She remembered who she was and the game changed.

Lalah Delia


Table of Contents

Additional Articles

Listen First

The Coach’s Corner Newsletter #47 Just before game 5 of the NBA playoff series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets, starting point

Read More »

Clutter and your brain

The Coach’s Corner Newsletter #45 Clutter isn’t just one thing, it’s: A confused multitude of things, as defined by Clutter shows up in many

Read More »

In awe of the eclipse

The Coach’s Corner Newsletter #44 Sitting outside a Denver-area restaurant with my friend, Frances, on Monday we used our MedOptics glasses to view the partial

Read More »